American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, July 21
(All times Eastern)
Cleveland Indians (50-48) at Minnesota Twins (44-53), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - T.J. House (1-2, 4.40)
Minnesota - Kris Johnson (0-1, 5.40)
(SportsNetwork.com) - In terms of opposition, the Cleveland Indians are going
from the penthouse to the outhouse.
Fresh off winning three of four games from the American League Central
leaders, the Indians will attempt to follow up on Monday night at Target Field
as they begin a three-game set with the last-place Minnesota Twins.
Cleveland has won six straight games in Minnesota and its 11-5 record in July
has helped a climb back within 5 1/2 games of the top spot in the division.
The Indians could have closed the gap to 3 1/2 games by finishing off what
would have been a sweep of the Tigers on Sunday, but they dropped a 5-1
Nonetheless, the Indians have led the majors with 22 home runs so far this
month and are batting .279 as a team while averaging better than five runs per
"It was a great series for us," Cleveland pitcher Josh Tomlin said. "Took
three games from them, but I came up short."
The Indians have hosted all seven games with the Twins so far in 2014, winning
four of them. They won the final six games played in the series at Target
Field last season.
Minnesota, meanwhile, has lost four in a row overall at home.
Lefty Kris Johnson gets the start for the hosts while again seeking his first
win in the majors.
He went four innings and was shelled for five runs and eight hits in a July 11
outing at Colorado, which ended in a 6-2 loss while he was replacing injured
teammate Ricky Nolasco.
In three career starts, including a stint with Pittsburgh last season, he's
0-2 with an 8.71 earned run average.
Minnesota scored just six runs while losing three in a row over the weekend
against Tampa Bay.
"We've got a hot Cleveland team coming in here, in our division, the whole
package," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "So it's not going to get
Cleveland starts lefty T.J. House, who allowed eight hits and three runs in 4
2/3 innings of the Indians' 9-3 defeat of the New York Yankees on July 10.
In his last two road starts, though, his ERA is a respectable 2.38.
On Sunday in Detroit, Torii Hunter hit a two-run homer, Drew Smyly threw seven
solid innings and the Tigers avoided a four-game sweep by beating the Indians,
5-1, at Comerica Park.
The Indians scored 20 runs through the first three games, but Detroit's Drew
Smyly (6-8) held them to a run on four hits. He struck out six and walked two.
Cleveland starter Tomlin (5-7) gave up four runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings.
The Indians were looking to win six straight on the road for the first time
In Minnesota, James Loney drove in a pair of runs as the Rays grabbed a 5-3
win over the Twins to complete a sweep.
Josh Willingham drove in two runs for the Twins, who had won five of six prior
to the series with the Rays.
Kevin Correia (5-12) gave up four runs on seven hits in four innings of work
to take the loss.
07/21 10:33:33 ET